The team now is forecasting 10 named storms to develop in the Atlantic this year, four of which it expects will become hurricanes with one growing in intensity to a category 3 or higher.
Last month, the team predicted nine named storms, of which three were expected to become hurricanes with one developing into a category 3 or higher.
The team still is forecasting a lower-than-normal season, but revised its forecast both because of uncertainty of the expected development of an El Niño event in the eastern Pacific Ocean and cooler Atlantic sea surface temperatures that are beginning to climb.
“The tropical Atlantic remains cooler than normal,” says Phil Klotzbach, the lead author of the revised forecast, “and the chances of a moderate to strong El Niño event this summer appear to be relatively high. “
One of the effects of El Niño is suppressed hurricane formation.
“But we have seen some conditions change in a manner to make the season slightly more favorable to storm formation, which prompted us to increase our predictions,” Klotzbach says.
The team predicts activity during the 2014 season will be about 70 percent of normal. By comparison, last year’s season was 45 percent of normal.
The CSU team will update its revised forecast July 1 and issue a final full forecast July 31.
Its landfall predictions are:
• Entire U.S. coast – 40 percent.
• East Coast – 22 percent.
• Gulf Coast – 23 percent.
• Caribbean – 32 percent.
Bill Clough is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or at beepic@mySouTex.com.